More than half of all women work outside the home; many pregnant women work and do well. If you are concerned about whether your job is safe for your pregnancy, discuss your particular situation with your healthcare provider. It may be difficult to know the specific risk of a particular job—the goal is to minimize the risk to you and your baby while still enabling you to work. The average healthy woman should be able to work at most jobs throughout her pregnancy.
You will probably have to slow down if you continue to work. You may also have to take it a little easier; you may not be able to do some of the things you do when you aren't pregnant. You may have to ask for help with some of the tasks you are required to perform.
If possible, rest during your work day. Try to lie down during breaks or on your lunch hour. Even sitting in a quiet place such as in your car can be beneficial. Ten or 15 minutes of rest can make you feel better and restore your energy.
Stretch Your Legs
If you sit at a desk for your job, try to do some leg-stretching/foot exercises several times each hour. Remove your shoes before doing the following exercise: Extend your legs in front, then point your toes and flex your feet. Repeat this four or five times. It helps circulation in your feet and may prevent some swelling in your legs.
Benefit of Maternity Stockings
Whether you sit or stand at work, maternity stockings provide support for your legs. They can be helpful even if you don't work. Maternity stockings may be preferable to regular support stockings because they don't constrict your waist or abdomen. If you are concerned, discuss it with your healthcare provider. Maternity stockings are available at medical supply stores where you can be measured and fitted. A prescription may be necessary for your insurance to cover this cost.
Elevated hormones and the stress of being pregnant can trigger mood swings in you. You may also find you're more tired; it's normal. Take a break if any situation becomes more than you can bear.
Studies show that women who stand all day have smaller babies. If you stand all day, you may have problems at the end of your pregnancy with your feet and ankles swelling. You may have to modify your work, lie down a couple of times during the day or work fewer hours.
If you have an active job—for example, working in a warehouse—avoid activities that involve climbing and balance, especially during the third trimester. Talk with your supervisor about eliminating these activities for now.
Some women worry about the effect working at a computer terminal might have on their baby. To date, there is no evidence that working at a computer terminal can harm a growing baby. However, if you work at a computer terminal, be aware of how long you sit and the way you sit.
Get up and move around regularly to stimulate your circulation— about once every 15 minutes. Take short walks frequently. Sit in a chair that offers good support for your back and legs. Don't slouch or cross your legs while sitting.
According to Maureen Paul, M. D., M. P. H., director of the Occupational Reproductive Hazards Center at the University of Massachusetts, some substances can harm a developing fetus.
You or your partner could bring home substances you are exposed to at work. This poses a potential danger. Substances may be brought into your home on your work clothes or the work clothes of someone else in your family. If you think you may be exposed to hazardous substances, be sure to discuss it with your physician.